Girl Scouts Take Action

The following article is a special contribution by a 7th Grade Girl Scout troop at Brookside. 

We, Girl Scout Troop  1166, have just completed our media journey. We have learned about the benefits and drawbacks of all types of media and how sometimes it can be misleading. For our take-action project, we decided to review different products comparing what they say they will do and what they really do, and we put them together to share with you.

Keratin ShampooTRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner (by Meghan C.)

This product is supposed to make your hair smoother and reduce frizz. When used in combination, they work very well. Hair becomes smoother, less curly, and easier to style. Many other products claim to do the same, but often they don’t change anything. In contrast, these products do what they are meant to do. I would recommend this product to anyone with curly or frizzy hair, as it also makes hair feel more nourished and healthy.

FRE Lifeproof iPhone case (by Genevieve)Life Proof Case

I tested the Lifeproof case for iPhone 5C by Fre. The case is advertised on the box that it is waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shockproof. The box claims that the phone is fully submersible to 6.6 feet, and totally sealed from “dirt + dust”, completely closed to snow and ice, and finally survives drops up to  6.6 feet.  I got the case from Best Buy last June for about $40.

I thought it worked very well, but I decided to test its waterproof ability. So I took my phone out of the case and filled a pot with cold water. I put dried beans as a weight in the case. We weighed the case with the beans to make that the bean-filled case was the same weight as with the iPhone. Then I sealed the case and put it in the water, and let it sit under water for five minutes. After five minutes, I took the case out of the water and dried it off very well. Then I opened the case and let the beans fall out on some paper towels.  I moved the beans to see if the paper towel was wet, and it was not. Then I put some paper towel inside the two case halves to see if they were wet where the beans had been. The front half was tiny bit damp by the ports and the screen, but the back half was completely dry.

The case is pretty easy to put on and take off your phone, but you need a penny at all times to remove the case. I noticed that after a few weeks of my phone wearing it, I could remove the case with just my hands.

The Lifeproof case works but you shouldn’t just put it in your pool for fun. It protects your phone from different accidents, but not to swim around with. Overall, the case is durable and lives up to the claims on the box, and I recommend this product.

Fin Fun Mermaid Tails (by Maggie M. & Bella S.) Tail

The brightly colored, fun mermaid tails are sold online only and appear realistic and fun to use in the water.  They come in two parts and are sold separately with a choice of tail pattern and optional monofin.  They can be used in pools or lakes and actually work like fins in the water. In order to make it work you need to buy the monofin.  The cost of the two items are $114.85.  The very first time I used it, I had a lot fun in the water, however, when I stood in the pool and jumped around like shown in the video online the monofin broke and then did not work when you swam.  The company had a 30 day return policy, but they refused to refund or replace the monofin because they said that you could not jump in the water with it.  I would recommend the product only if you use it for one time limited use, but not regular use because it will break.  This product is too expensive for the amount of time you actually can use it.

Garnier Color Styler – Intense Wash-out Color (By Danielle C. & Hair Color 3Sarah R.)

This product promises “intense Color” that lasts 2-3 shampoos. The picture shows very bright colored highlights in dark brown hair.  The application of the product is very easy and not too messy. While we liked this product, the color was not even close to being as intense as promised, and it washes out in a day or two. It cost $6 and we think it is worth it for the money. You can use it more than once, and there is a lot of product in the bottle. Overall, we recommend Garnier Color Styler and think it is a good purchase.

Hamilton: Making History

By Abby H.


image by Abby H.


image by Abby H.

The last beat of the last song rang out across the theater, and the lights went down. Before the lights came on again, the entire audience was on its feet, clapping so loud I could hardly hear the band. We all clapped until our hands were numb, and then some more, because this show deserved it. As I swam through the sea of people and out of the theatre, all I heard around me was various exclamations recapping the performance. The lights, the choreography, and the energy of the actors on stage was incredible. The show had created such a positive and exciting vibe, and everyone could feel it. And that show was Hamilton, written and starred in by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Hamilton is a rap musical depicting the life of Alexander Hamilton. Doesn’t sound too exciting? Well, how much do you really know about this founding father? As said in the musical, “Every other founding father story gets told. Every other founding father gets to grow old” (Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story). There is more to Alexander Hamilton and his life than being killed by Aaron Burr, who he actually had quite an interesting relationship with. He had a family, friends, and a strong personality. He was partly responsible for America’s independence, he was George Washington’s right-hand man, and he was the reason that Thomas Jefferson became president. And this musical is the first ever rap musical to hit a Broadway stage. Yes, rap. Hamilton is the first of it’s kind. There is no other time when rap would ever be associated with a founding father, or Broadway for that matter. Hamilton brings a new style of music to Broadway, while also transporting the audience back in time to the 1800s. It is a moving story, which caused many to laugh, cry, and gasp. It is an emotional rollercoaster that combines all of the elements of a great show with the genius words of Lin-Manuel Miranda. This was one of the greatest shows that I have ever seen on Broadway, and although the tickets may be very hard to purchase, I strongly suggest finding a way to see this masterpiece.

What’s Trending: The X-Files

By Erin O.


image via Wikipedia

After 14 years without The X Files, FOX has released a tenth season. The first episode of the season “My Struggle” was released on January 24, 2016. This show stars David Duchovny as FBI agent Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson as FBI agent Dana Scully. In the new X Files season, Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully (Anderson) are sent to investigate new crime scenes. These crime scenes include the trash man and the lizard man. Many people were excited for the X Files to return to television, however, the new season isn’t turning out to be as good as the old seasons. Many people are still hoping for an 11th season of the X Files. According to an interview with David Duchovny, he said that he would be happy to do another season as long as everyone (the rest of the cast) came back. I’m hoping for another season so I can see what other FBI cases Fox Mulder and Dana Scully solve!

What’s Trending: Facebook Feelings

By Erin O.


Recently Facebook has come out with new reaction buttons. These buttons can show how you feel. The buttons are a like button, a “love” button, a “haha” button, a “yay” button, a “wow” button, a “sad” button, and an “angry” button. These buttons are to help you express your feelings. These buttons are good because people say in the comments sometimes that it doesn’t feel right to like a picture because it is sad. You don’t necessarily want to like a picture that is sad or makes you upset. After that was said on a photo Facebook came out with these buttons. They are very good at helping you express your feelings not by writing a comment. To use these buttons you need to hold down the like button and drag your finger to the feeling you would like to use.   

Review: Start Wars Original Trilogy

By Julia G.

image via

image via

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…

A story of a princess, a farm boy, and a scoundrel catches the attention of audiences of all ages in it’s 9 episode series. It may sound like your normal fairytale, but Star Wars takes place in a galaxy far far away from ours and a long time ago. Spaceships and hover cars are the only source of transportation. Aliens and humans travel from planet to planet in a matter of minutes using hyperspace. All is peaceful until the mysterious Jedi, protectors of the galaxy are wiped out with only a handful left.

The first third of the series is about the young Anakin Skywalker who grows up a slave. The boy gets a chance of freedom, but he has to make the decision of leaving his mother behind. As the trilogy progresses, Anakin is faced with many emotions as he makes his way to become a Jedi. Hate and despise fills him up and he turns to the dark side of the Force. The Force is an all powerful thing that flows through a Jedi and gives him/her his/her power. The Jedi also get the powerful weapon called a lightsaber which is a laser sword that can slice through anything. Anakin is the supposed “Chosen One” and is supposed to bring balance and peace to the Force, but instead he joins the Dark Side that believes in revenge, hate and all things negative. Anakin makes a surprising transformation which is revealed in the later episodes.

Episodes 4,5, and 6 are about a young farm boy Luke Skywalker. He is also given the chance to become a Jedi from one of the only Jedi left. This is also the same Jedi that taught Anakin. Luke is faced with saving the galaxy from the evil Empire. Darth Vader and Darth Sidious are the head of the Empire with their troops Stormtroopers. Luke has to stop the Empire and its ultimate weapon the Death Star. Twice this moon-like battle station is blown up by Luke and rebuilt. In the end Luke defeats the Empire and Darth Vader and Sidious and brings peace to the galaxy. As the trilogy progresses there are many twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. On Luke’s journey he befriends the most unlikely of friends and encounters places beyond his moisture farm on the desert planet Tatooine.

JJ Abrams has now taken over the making of the last trilogy from the original maker George Lucas. He has produced the seventh movie The Force Awakens where the original characters come back to finish off the beloved adventures of Star Wars. More movies are coming out in the years to come including the adventures that happen between episodes 3 and 4. Also make sure to watch the movies in the following order: 4,5,6,1,2,3,7,8,9 so that it will make the most sense. This was the order of the release of these movies and doing so was the smartest thing because it made everything much more surprising in the series. When I first saw the movies I fell in love instantly and ever since I have been a huge Star Wars fan. I hope the series can capture your imagination like it did for me.

Trep$ Marketplace a Success

By Julia B.

Writer Julia G. features her Trep$ purchases.

Writer Julia G. features her Trep$ purchases.

On March 1, sixth through eighth graders who participated in an afterschool entrepreneur club showcased their products to the school community. With the help of Mrs. Imhoff, the eighth grade math teacher who runs the club, these students have learned how to create and market the products they made. Products included bathbombs, bracelets, Chromebook cases, and headbands.

Sixth grader Brendan Stock made complex “survival bracelets,” which sold for $7 for adult bracelets, $6 for kids, and $5 and under for keychains and charms, which came in many different colors. Survival bracelets appear to be your typical stylish bracelet until you are in an emergency situation. If necessary, you would then cut the end of your bracelet and unravel it and it becomes a long piece of string with many helpful uses to aid you in survival.

Sixth grader Michaela Powell created homemade headbands that don’t slide off your head. She used a material in the interior of the headband that reduces sliding and on the exterior she sewed on a fun colorful pattern for style. Some patterns included soccer balls, tie dye, pawprints, M&M’s, and softballs/baseballs. These clever, fun headbands sold at $4 dollars a unit.

These examples were just two of the many options available for sale. Students seemed to have a blast with the process of coming up with a product a selling it, with the added bonus of keeping the profit! Overall it is a great learning experience for young entrepreneurs who now understand the basics of how to run your own business.

What’s Trending: Athleisure

Brooksiders sport the latest trend in pants.

Brookside students sport the latest trend in pants.

By Ally L.

Yoga or everyday wear?  More and more people every day are starting to look like they just came from a workout. Anyone from moms to kids have yoga pants. These pants can come in all sorts of crazy colors and patterns, such as zebra print or blue and purple stripes. They are great to wear because they are very comfortable. You can get these crazy pants from many different stores, such Athleta and Iviva. Yoga pants are better now than ever!

What’s Trending: Fruit-Infused Water Bottles

By Alex B. & Savannah M.

Sixth grader Alex B. infused her water with cucumbers and lemons.

Sixth grader Alex B. infused her water with cucumbers and lemons.

For the past few weeks, fruit-infused water bottles have been all over the school. Fruit-infused water is water with the taste of fruit and other herbs. Many Brookside students have been using water bottles especially designed for fruit. They look like a normal water bottle, except they have different add-ons. They could have filter tubes in the center or a different section at the bottom that juices the fruit. Students bring the bottles around with them to their classes, and if they finish it, they refill it at the school’s water refill fountain. Fruit water not only tastes amazing, but it is also a great way to stay hydrated and healthy.

Where to get infused water bottles:

  • Marshall’s
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Bed Bath and Beyond
  • eBay
  • Sears

And they are below $20!

Yankees Pull off Comeback, but Did They Really Win?

By Ty P.

Infielder Starlin Castro makes a good first impression.

Infielder Starlin Castro makes a good first impression.

The Yankees started of Spring Training with a game against the Detroit Tigers. Starting for the Yankees was the 22-years-old Luis Severino who made his debut last year and had an ERA of 2.98.

The Yankees started off a bit shaky when Severino gave up five runs early in the game. From then on, the Yankees started rallying back, led by Starlin Castro. He did plenty on the offensive side and defensive side of the ball in his first game wearing pinstripes. Down 6-0 at one point, the Yankees refused to wave the white flag.

About halfway through the game the Yankees offense came alive. Castro was 2-3 with an RBI Double and Austin Romine also went 2-3 scoring twice and driving in one run. Although many big names didn’t play like Brett Gardner, who is off until March 15th, or Jacoby Ellsbury, who had the day off, the Yankees younger players showed that they have some talent and proved to Manager Joe Girardi they can compete in the big leagues.

The Yankees might have had a good win on the field, but off the field they suffered a major loss. Aroldis Chapman has been given a 30-game suspension by the MLB because of an investigation going on where he allegedly fired nine shots at his girlfriend in a garage. This could be a big loss, but the Yankees might not suffer. According to ESPN Sports Analyst Aaron Boone, the Yankees have to best bullpen in the league. He says they have depth and the relief pitchers can pitch as a closer or the next game pitch in the 7th inning. Many Yankee fans are unhappy with Chapman and say he was a waste. We can only determine that when he comes back.

If the Yankees’ offense keeps doing what they’re doing then they will be fine. If the starting pitchers can give up only one or two runs when the bullpen comes in, it’s almost an automatic win. Yankee fans have a lot to look forward to this year.

Stop Eating GMOs Now

By Julia B.

Unfortunately, this student just ate a container of non-organic raspberries. Next time, she should buy organic.

Unfortunately, this student just ate a container of non-organic raspberries. Next time, she should buy organic.

Imagine. A student finishes his breakfast. Every morning he eats the same thing: whole grain cereal with fresh strawberries. He doesn’t, however, buy organic strawberries. He thinks the organic strawberries are bland. That same morning, when he is walking to school, he is rushed to the hospital because his heart developed a defect. And to think that all of this happened because of strawberries. The amazing tasty fruit that everyone loves. This could happen to any person. These strawberries he ate were genetically modified. When fruits are genetically modified it means that scientists switch the genes of foods to create something different and “better”. Genetically modified foods (GMOs) can hurt people and the environment in a lot of different ways, and students as well as their families need to stop buying them.

First off, GMOs are altered versions of produce such as fruits, and we do not know if this will create chaos in the body. Did you know, approximately 80% of foods are GMOs in the U.S., and these foods have been connected to health problems? GMOs do not have to be labeled so people do not know if they are buying GMOs. Also, GMOs have very little consumer benefits, while they also have negative effects on health and the body. GMO supporters believe that GMOs have way more nutrients than regular foods do, when the reality is you get the same amount of nutrients when you eat an assortment of regular organic foods. This proves there really is no need for GMOs. Imagine, scientists could end up creating a food that is rabid and rancid. This could lead to even bigger panic among people when you are buying food from the stores for themselves and your family.

Next, when testing GMOs on animals there have been mixed results which means there is a chance GMOs could cause danger toward humans. In the long term, GMOs have many negative side effects. In a short term study there have been few negative effects. Rats fed GMOs have had babies way smaller than they usually would. Also, rats fed these biotech foods live shorter than their normal lifespan. Imagine if you were an animal that got fed GMOs, and then you had all sorts of things blazing through you, such as heart defects and lung defects. GMOs can cause insanity with health, and it can cause cruel defects as well. People who are for GMOs say that scientists are hoping to create GMOs that have a ton of benefits. WAIT! Notice how they say hoping. When they say this, it really suggests that scientists have no idea if they will actually create a lot of benefits.

Lastly, weeds have started to become resistant to pesticides and herbicides, which, makes it harder to control corrupting weeds. Superweeds are beginning to pop up in a ton of farms because of GMOs. As well as this, superbugs cause more spraying to happen in farms. These bugs can create toxins that may hurt the growing crops. If even one thing goes wrong, it could create a domino effect, starting with humans. Superbugs hurt the food growing in farms. Superweeds will spread as fast as a cold can travel from one person to another. Imagine if you were a farmer and you had superweeds, then you might have to shut your farm down if the superweeds become popular among your farm.

We as humans have the ability to make a change. We have the power to ban GMOs. GMOs affect us and don’t give us the nutrients we need to survive. This is a big problem, but you can change that. If you stop buying GMOs there is a chance that you can save all humans. Spread the word. By refusing to buy GMOs you can make a difference and change the world.